What could have got Warren Buffett so stressed out that he chose to run away rather than face up to the situation? Would you believe, a game of cards? In 1994, Warren Buffett and his bridge partner, Sharon Osberg, were in Albuquerque, New Mexico, participating in the World Bridge Championship. A keen social player, this was the first time the investing genius was playing competitively — and that too, unwillingly. Osberg, his teacher and partner in the game, had registered and dragged Buffett along. As was to be expected — this is Warren Buffett we’re speaking of, after all — the two cleared the qualifying rounds and made it to the final. “We were huge underdogs but by some miracle, we actually qualified,” recalls 76-year-old Osberg.
But three days of exhausting play took its toll and Warren Buffett decided he had had enough. “He looked at me and just said, ‘It’s too stressful. I can’t do it. Tell them I have a business emergency. Tell them anything’,” Osberg says. She had to do the dirty job of breaking the news to the organisers and withdrawing from the final. Not surprisingly, they were furious and even threatened to take away her Masterpoints and ranking — Osberg is a two-time World Bridge champion. “I told Warren, ‘In the history of bridge, we are probably the only pair ever to withdraw from the finals of a world championship without one of us dying!’,” Osberg laughs.